When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and medidate until they hear the song of the child. They recognise that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavour and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else. When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the song. When the child passes through initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person's bed, just as they did at their birth and they sing the person to the next life.
There is something inside each of us that knows we have a song, and we wish those we love would recognise it and support us to sing it. In the African tribe, there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the centre of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognises that the correction for antisocial behaviour is not punishment ; it is love and the remembrance of identity.
When you recognise your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another. A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
If you do not give your song a voice, you will feel lost, alone and confused. If you express it, you will come to life. We attract people on similar wavelength so we can support each other to sing aloud. Sometimes we attract people who challenge us by telling us that we cannot or should not sing our song in public. Yet, these people help us too, for they stimulate us to find greater courage to sing it.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you do matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn't. In the end, we shall all recognise our song and sing it well. You may feel a little wary at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you shall find your way home.